BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry mother is suing the Berkeley County School District saying district officials are breaking the law by not allowing her two children to be enrolled for in-person classes.
The lawsuit, which also names BCSD Superintendent Eddie Ingram, is suing for violation of the governor’s orders and constitutional right to education. The suit is seeking damages for lost wages, childcare expenses, and for lost educational opportunities.
According to the woman’s lawyers, their client has been told that the in-person slots for College Park Middle School, the school in which her children attend, are full.
The woman said her family moved to South Carolina in the middle of the pandemic to escape pandemic restrictions at their previous home state.
She said she enrolled her two children at BCSD in March of 2021 and was told that her kids would have to be enrolled in virtual learning because the in-person learning slots for her kids’ grades were already full.
Her lawyers cite McMaster’s resolution stating that every district in the state must offer a 5-day, in person classroom instruction to students no later than April 26. Lawyers said it was illegal for the Berkeley County School District not to offer their client’s children in-person instruction.
They say despite the mandate, the district refused to provide students an option to learn in-person.
On April 26, the mother said she emailed the district and asked them why her children were still regulated to remote learning, and received a response from an official stating that the status of their face-to-face classes has not changed and they are currently full.
According to the lawsuit, the district also said that, “College Park Middle School has offered a face to face option 5 days a week since September, which is what the state is requiring all schools to have.”
Lawyers contend that the district is interpreting the mandate to say that as long as a student somewhere in the district has the option to attend class in person 5-days a week than they are fulfilling the order.
The suit states the district’s interpretation is “far-fetched” and inconsistent with the details of the order.